Jesus Christ being “in the likeness of sinful man” (Rom 8:3) became our representative before God. Just as we saw he was sinless, and took on the form or likeness of sinful man in order for God to satisfy His Holy justice; by pouring out His wrath upon Jesus who became the object of His wrath.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
1 Thess 5:9
9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
By becoming our representative Jesus took upon himself our sins and in doing so removed the verdict of guilty from us. 1 John 2:2
2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 4:10
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Jesus by doing this removed not just the penalty of our sins, but our sins as well.
Have you ever heard the term “scapegoat”? Do you ever wonder where it comes from? It comes from the book of Leviticus. We find the term used there in the context of atoning for sin.
8 He is to cast lots for the two goats — one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat. 9 Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the Lord and sacrifice it for a sin offering. 10 But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat.
The scapegoat was lead away from the camp as a symbol that the sins of the people had been removed from them. Perhaps this is what the psalmist is calling to mind in Ps 103:12
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
King Hezekiah puts it like this in Isa 38:17
17 Surely it was for my benefit
that I suffered such anguish.
In your love you kept me
from the pit of destruction;
you have put all my sins
behind your back.
God declares this in Isa 43:25
25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.
In The book of Hebrews we read:
12 For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”